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November 27

How I Overcame Social Anxiety

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I’ve got good news, bad news and great news.

The good news is that anxiety is a perfectly normal part of everyone’s lives.

We all have it – just at different levels.

The bad news?

When it spirals out of control, it can absolutely ruin your life.

Which, I’m sure I don’t have to explain, would probably suck for anyone.

So, what’s the great news?

Anyone can overcome anxiety!

And in this blog post today, I’m going to share with you how to overcame social anxiety in your life and discovered your inner confidence.

And sure, I could bore you with endless psychological theories and therapeutic intervention.

But, none of that matters if you don’t see it as an actual process.

So, I’m going to show you exactly how I overcame social anxiety and break down the steps I had to take to regain control in my life.

By reading about how I was able to create more confidence in my life and conquer my social anxiety, I want you to know that you can do it too.

So, let’s jump into it!

Part 1: Where Did My Social Anxiety Come From?

I was raised in an extremely religious family.

As such there were strict rules and dogma to follow for most of my life.

And one of the first real lessons I was ever taught in life was that I was a “sinner”.

And what this meant was I became aware at a very early there was something wrong with me.

I was a bad person and that no matter what I did in life, there was nothing that could ever stop me from being just that.

I was also shunned a lot as a kid as being a bit of an outsider and I felt like I could never be myself, even at home.

So I had to constantly keep pushing my feelings down and burying the person that I was.

And so from a very young age, I developed extremely low self-esteem.

And over time that led to my social anxiety.

How Self-Esteem and Social Anxiety Are Linked

Here’s the thing, if you don't have a sense of self-worth, then you're not going to put yourself out there socially.

And if you don’t put yourself out there, develop those skills and get into scary social situations, then you won’t learn how to deal with life effectively.

Over time, like me, you might grow to believe that you’re not worth anyone’s time.

You might start to believe that you’re just dragging the people around you down.

Life In School

On top of everything else I didn’t attend a regular school until I was 15.

The church always encouraged my parents to homeschool me and my siblings.

They believed that we should be sheltered from the world at all costs.

But the cost of that was that I never really interacted with people around my own age.

I had no idea how to relate to others or even how to relate to myself yet.

And when I finally got into school, I started to realize a few things about school pretty quickly.

The first thing was that school was not like the movies. I wasn't going to walk in and people would want to be my friend.

In fact, I had to quickly learn that everyone there was focused on themselves.

I would have to take care of me because no one else could.

I didn’t know that about the world yet and it came as a huge shock to me.

And I also quickly learned that it didn't matter how academic I was in at school.

Instead, it was all about the amount that you fit in with other people.

And I definitely wasn’t one of the popular kids.

In fact, I was probably more than a bit strange – almost like a kid who had stepped out of a cult for the first time in his life.

Eventually I managed to form some friendships with some people who are also on the social outskirts.

And, amazingly, we remain friends to this day!

But then school ended and I went to college and that was where my social anxiety really just took complete control of my life.

Living With Social Anxiety

In college, my anxiety started to spiral out of control.

I kept myself secluded as much as possible and tried not to draw attention to myself

During my breaks, I used to hide in the college bathrooms sometimes for over two hours.

I was so anxious and scared all the time, I was struggling to even exist in the real world.

This was when my first thoughts of ending my life started to appear.

My only real place of confidence during that time was drama class.

I was allowed to be whoever I wanted there and everyone was supportive.

And it wouldn’t be until many years later that I would understand what a massive impact that had on me.

Through acting and performing, I was able to start expressing myself and I started to gain some confidence.

My First Heartbreak

During that time, I was asked out by a girl that I knew from school.

I had always liked her and felt like we had a special connection.

We dated for about eighteen months before the relationship came to an abrupt end.

A week before I left for university, her friend sent me a text message saying that my girlfriend was breaking up with me.

She had met someone else and didn’t want to see me again.

I was totally devastated.

My confidence was shattered and my anxiety and depression returned with vengeance.

My Lowest Point

So I got to university and I was now at one of the lowest points in my entire life.

I was discovering that I really hated myself and who I was.

I had this sense of self-loathing that followed me everywhere.

And it just bled out into the rest of the world.

Rejection was  very common for me in almost every part of my life.

I was struggling to make new friends, connections and found myself unable to even speak to girls.

Throughout university, I fell deeper and deeper into depression, anxiety and self-loathing.

I started engaging in some very self-destructive behaviour.

Once again, I was wondering whether or not I should even continue trying to stay alive.

I hated everything about my life, but I knew that I had to change.

And that was when I discovered self-help.

Googling “What’s Wrong With Me”

My first real experience with self-help came from me Googling things like “what’s wrong with me”, “how to get people to like you” and “how to get a girlfriend”.

I was at a point of almost total desperation.

But I could see that other people in the world had it all figured out.

So, I figured that there must be someone out there who’s got the answers.

To my surprise, I found myself reading answers from pickup artists (PUAs).

Overnight, I found that there were a set of rules that I could use to get what I wanted in life.

And of course taking advice from pickup artists went about as well as you would expect.

In fact, the information I learned probably had more to do with me being single for quite some time.

But, there was one positive.

It helped me to understand that there was actually a way that I could improve my life.

I didn't have to stay the same way forever!

Self-Improvement and My Life’s Purpose

During my time diving into the world of self-help, I realised that there were hundreds of millions of people dealing with the same problem as me.

I learned that lack of confidence, social anxiety and low self-esteem was affecting an enormous amount of people.

So, I decided that I would first “fix” myself and then I would “fix” others.

At that point, I quit my Law degree and started my Psychology degree instead whilst diving headfirst into the world of self-improvement.

How I Honestly Started Working On Self-Improvement and Social Anxiety

Now, the easiest trap to fall into with self-improvement is a sense of superiority.

Over time, you may start to feel a growing sense that you’re better than other people because you’re working on yourself and others aren’t.

And this was a trap that I fell into.

As you can probably imagine, this didn’t help me psychologically.

And it certainly didn’t help me socially.

One day I was having drinks with a girl that I really liked.

I was talking about the superiority that I felt and my disdain for others not putting in the work like I was.

To my surprise, she didn’t agree with me.

Instead, she told me that if I kept acting that way then “no one will ever love you!”

And that hit me like a ton of bricks.

It forced me to really confront what was going on in my life.

And that was when I realised I had just masked my social anxiety and low self-esteem with a superiority complex.

Nothing had improved.

I was still suffering from social anxiety, lack of confidence, low self-estee, panic attacks, depression, anger issues, and so much more.

I knew that it wasn’t enough for me to try and help myself any more.

It was time to go out and get some real help.

Part 2: How I Overcame Social Anxiety

Ultimately, I overcame my social anxiety through 3 things that I’m going to cover next.

I realised that I could read all the motivational books in the world, but if I wasn’t actually actively working on myself, then none of it mattered.

Plus, I really didn’t want to die alone and unloved like my friend had told me.

So, I began my real journey into self-improvement.

The Power of Therapy

I genuinely can’t understate the impact that therapy and counselling had on my life!

It is responsible for so much of the change that I made over the next few years.

But, I first went to therapy not expecting anything at all.

After all, I still had my sense of superiority.

Since psychology had become my obsession for the past few years, I assumed that there was nothing my therapist new that I didn’t.

So I went into the therapy defensive, rude and self-centred.

I expected nothing but a waste of time and I only signed on to do eight weeks of therapy.

I stayed for eighteen months.

It took a few sessions, but my therapist was able to show me that I had lived my entire life encased in a suit of armour.

I was so afraid of getting hurt, rejected or feeling any kind of pain that I hid myself away.

My social anxiety was a defence mechanism that stopped me from putting myself in situations where I might get hurt.

And through the therapeutic process, I was able to learn exactly how I was holding myself back in life.

And sure, we looked into my past to see where my issues came from, but she always brought it back to the present so that we could actively tackle whatever the problem was.

The Benefits of Therapy

During the time that we worked together, I was firstly able to overcome panic attacks.

In fact, over the past three years, I have only experienced two panic attacks, both of which I was able to quickly get under control and explore what caused them. This then led me to be able to fix the problem in my life, stopping future panic attacks.

I was also able to recover a lot of my self-esteem and bring my social anxiety under control.

I was able to patch things up with my family and also go out there and start making more friends.

Over the course of just eighteen months, therapy helped me turn my life around.

I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be the person I am now without that experience.

The Power of a Support Network

It is so important to bring the right people into your life and into your support network.

Your support network is made up of your friends, family and loved ones.

These are the people that you know you can rely on for support in becoming the best version of you.

They’re not afraid to get real with you and tell you the real harsh truth about yourself.

Especially when it hurts but you need to hear it.

Now, the last thing you want is to become dependent on those people.

So, to build a support network, you have to find that fine balance of support and independence.

You have to still make all of your decisions yourself. But know that there are people who will back you up and support you.

The Power of Practical Self-Improvement

These days, I’m not as much of a fan of self-help as I used to be.

I've moved away from the typically fluffy self-help books such as “The Magic of Thinking Big”, “The Power of Positive Thinking” and “Awaken The Giant Within”.

Whilst these are great books, I believe that real power of self-improvement is in practical, everyday actions.

As I moved away from self-help I started to understand the importance of things such as:

  • Self-love
  • Self-compassion
  • Forgiveness
  • Self-acceptance
  • Friendship
  • And taking daily action

How Taking Action Will Help You Overcome Social Anxiety

One of the most important things you could do for yourself is start taking daily action.

You’ve probably got big goals and dreams for your life.

But, you also probably don’t take nearly as much action as you should, right?

So, do you want to know the secret to crushing your social anxiety and low self-esteem?

It’s simply to take action on your goals.

Why?

Because taking action on your goals and achieving even small wins creates a new belief in your mind.

That belief says that you CAN win at life. It says that you CAN do positive things in the world. You CAN make a difference in your life and in others.

And it doesn't matter how big or how small that goal is.

Every single time you achieve one small goal, it’s a win!

And every single one of those wins builds your identity as a person who is confident, a go-getter and an action taker.

It shows you that you are somebody who will make a positive change in your life and maybe in the entire world as well.

This means actually going out there, taking action and actively working towards improving your life through achieving your goals.

Learning how to accept yourself and love and forgive yourself for your failures.

Learning this was instrumental in helping me to overcome my social anxiety.

How Overcoming My Social Anxiety Changed My Life

As a result of the work I did on my social anxiety, I found confidence for the first time in my life.

I was able to develop life skills and friendships as well.

Most importantly, I believe I was able to discover by life's purpose.

Now, I help people just like you to overcome your social anxiety, develop your confidence and become the person that you've always known that you could be.

And that is worth everything to me.

Part 3: 5 Simple Tips To Conquer Your Social Anxiety

So, now we come to some simple tips that you can start taking to beat your social anxiety.

By using these steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating your FREEDOM THROUGH CONFIDENCE!

Tip 1: Take Action

And when I say take action, I don't mean take massive action.

I mean, take small, consistent steps every single day.

There’s a huge focus in self-improvement on “massive action”.

And, for sure, there’s a time for that.

But most of the time, it’s more about taking one small step and then another after that.

In fact, most days you’ll only be able to take one or two small steps.

But you’ll be surprised how quickly those steps add up.

Huge progress can be made by just taking small, consistent steps every day.

Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the best possible version of yourself!

Tip 2: Self-Love and Self-Compassion

The simple fact is, sometimes you’re going to screw up.

And when that happens, your social anxiety is going to try and strike back.

However, there is another option.

In learning how to love and feel compassion for yourself, you learn how to forgive yourself for those mistakes.

You learn to accept them as part of the process.

Because if you don’t allow yourself to make mistakes, then you’re not going to grow.

You learn that mistakes aren’t bad and, over time, you’ll also learn that they are nothing to be anxious about.

Tip 3: Get Help

Whether it’s therapy, counselling, coaching or just speaking to someone supportive, I highly recommend going out and finding the help you’ll need to overcome your social anxiety.

Asking for help isn’t a weakness and you won’t regret doing it.

Tip 4: Create A Support Network

Find the right friends, family members and loved ones to create your support network and never stop growing it.

Of course, as I’ve already mentioned, you still need to find the balance of support and independence, but this will all come in time.

And don’t forget to be supportive of others too!

You never know who needs you.

Tip 5: Never Give Up

Here’s the final thing you need to know about how to overcome social anxiety.

Anxiety will always be there.

In fact, it’s a perfectly natural part of existence.

But when it starts to spiral out of control and take over your life, then it becomes a problem.

So, my final tip is to never give up on working to take better control of your social anxiety.

The more you develop the life skills and tools to stay on top of your anxiety, the more you have truly overcome it.

In fact, it puts you on the direct path towards mastering it entirely.

Remember: social anxiety is perfectly normal, but crippling social anxiety is not.

So never stop learning about how to stay in control of your life.

Final Thoughts

Social anxiety was a struggle for me for most of my life.

It took so much away from me and I imagine it may have taken a lot away from you too.

Maybe even more than me!

But there is hope.

You can learn from how I overcame social anxiety and start to take action today to conquer it in your own life.

So, don’t give up hope that there will be a day when you can be totally free and confident.

Start today and never give up!

If you’re ready to:

  • Take your life and confidence to the next level
  • Achieve your goals faster than you ever thought was possible
  • Finally overcome self-doubt and become the person you’ve always known you could become

Then Confidence Coaching is the way to do it!

So, if you’re ready to work together to crush your obstacles, 10x your confidence and live a life that you love, make sure you check out the Work With Me page and arrange a FREE Discovery Call today!

Or you can contact me directly on the LTUK Facebook Page!


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